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Bird food is food (often varieties of seeds) eaten by birds. Humans generally make or buy bird food to feed to pet birds or use in birdfeeders. Birdfood can be natural or commercial. The choice of what to use as birdfood depends on the species of bird being fed.
SeedBlack sunflower seeds are highly recommended for use in bird feeders because they attract a wide variety of birds, have a high ratio of meat to shell, and are high in fat content. Other common birdseeds include Niger, or thistle seed, a favorite of goldfinches, millet for sparrows and juncos, and safflower for cardinals,among others.
Non-seedSince there are a variety of birds that do not eat seeds, other several types of food have traditionally been used. Suet (beef or mutton fat) is recommended for insect-eating birds like nuthatches and woodpeckers. Nectar (essentially sugar water) attracts hummingbirds. Bread and kitchen scraps are often fed to ducks and gulls. Chickens are commonly fed corn, wheat, barley, sorghum and milling by-products.
These seeds and non-seed supplies are commonly obtained as by-products on farms, but can also be bought from independent retailers.